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DURBAN, South Africa, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Cape Verde Islands came within minutes of their greatest sporting success before being held to a 1-1 draw by Morocco in Group A of the African Nations Cup on Wednesday. The tiny island nation, making their tournament debut, scored their first goal in finals after 36 minutes at the Moses Mabhida Stadium when Luis Soares, who plays under the name Platini, acrobatically chipped the ball over Moroccan goalkeeper Nadir Lamyaghri following a through ball from Ryan Mendes. Morocco though, battled hard for an equaliser and duly got their reward after 78 minutes when Abdelaziz Barrada set up Youssef El Arabi who fired home for their deserved goal.
The result, together with South Africa's 2-0 win over Angola earlier, left the hosts top of the group with four points from two matches followed by Cape Verde and Morocco on two with Angola bottom on one.
South Africa meet Morocco in their final group match in Durban on Sunday, while Cape Verde play Angola in Port Elizabeth. (Reporting by Mike Collett; Editing by Alison Wildey)